A historical insight to Perry Court Farm
Perry Court Farm has been in the Fermor family since my grandpa (dad’s dad) brought it after the second world war. But before then most of our family history is in farming! Farming across different areas of Kent, the family have always been in the area, we even have a relative from the 1800s buried in Wye church! The furthest a relative has traveled was my great grandfather who went to Canada to help start a new town, he was a green grocer of course! But he returned to Kent again (to be a farmer) On my mums side, both grandparents were farm workers in Mersham, with my grandpa coming from a family of bakers, similarly, after the second world war (where he was a cook) he swapped into farming, what else would you expect!
The farm is split into sections of soil quality, with the main fruit crop growing here at Perry Court - apples and pears including 200 heritage varieties in the autumn months, and berries galore - cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries in the summer. Summer crops of lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, and later, autumn sweetcorn are grown outside Wye too, in a head brick earth soil. Harder veggies such as potatoes, cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage, carrots, parsnips and much more are grown in the sandy loam* soil (and harsher weather) towards the marsh. And arable crops are grown towards Canterbury in clay loam with a chalk sub soil.
Strawberries were the main crop, with hundreds of summer holiday pickers coming to make some pocket money by picking trays of fruit, which was then sold at market, usually in London or for a short while to supermarkets. This didn’t last long as the supermarket purchase price and strict rules were enough for them to throw in the towel and look for another outlet to sell to. We started farmers markets when I was around 8 years old. My childhood was filled with weekends and holidays helping my parents set up market stalls in Tenterden, Wye, Lenham and eventually, across London, this meant expanding the collection of vegetables we grew and looking for more exciting varieties such as heritage purple cauliflower and cavello nero. It is then that I started to gain my extensive knowledge on vegetables, how to store them, cook them and giving out tips. To this day, we still attend weekly farmers markets across London selling our home grown apples pears and vast selection of vegetables. With Tom (brother) and Martin (dad) picking, drilling and harvesting throughout the year, and Tom pressing the juice when he can, Jess (sister) shepherding her flock of Southdown sheep as well as helping Heidi (mum) with the farm shop, along with myself delivering the veg boxes. It is a truly family run farm. This is where the majority of your box contents come from, planted, maintained, harvested and delivered by the same family.
Soil information -
*Sandy loam soils have a high concentration of sand that gives them a gritty feel. In gardens and lawns, sandy loam soils are capable of quickly draining excess water but can not hold significant amounts of water or nutrients for your plants.
A great article on soil types can be found here - https://www.holganix.com/blog/4-key-soil-types-advantages-and-disadvantages
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